1st July 2018
This charming house of character exudes comfort, style and practicality
A home that exemplifies the very essence of village life in Malta.
Tastefully renovated and lovingly styled by its young owners, who moved in a year ago, it’s clear that this house of character in Naxxar has come a long way since it was originally built.
As you walk through the entrance hall, you’re immediately faced with a central courtyard which typifies homes of the era. There’s a study to the right, followed by a guest bathroom beneath the stairs, and to the left, the kitchen and dining room lead on to a spacious living area which opens up to a garden at the back of the house. Upstairs, one finds two bedrooms, a bathroom and the main bedroom suite, which comprises a walk-in wardrobe leading on to the main bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
The owners bought the house back in January 2016, and upon their first visit, the impressive fireplace in the living room was one of the first things to catch their eye, and help seal the deal. “When we saw it we were amazed,” they enthuse.
Looking back on the state it was in when they bought it, they explain, “it was liveable, but decorated in a dated style that was in need of an update.” With the house already having been converted, it didn’t need much in terms of construction, but the new owners did make a few alterations to the main bedroom, extending the room out across an existing terrace, and the doors leading out to the garden, which were opened up to let more light in, and create a better connection between inside and outside.
Upstairs, the main construction project was the main bedroom, which originally formed part of the terrace. “There was a bridge extending from the corridor upstairs leading on to a terrace, but we thought it was useless to have such a large terrace when we already had the garden as an outdoor space, so we decided to extend the bedroom out onto it. The existing bedroom became our walk-in wardrobe, and the extension houses the bedroom and ensuite,” they explain.
Apart from these interventions, they also replaced all the tiles and changed the apertures, internal doors, kitchen and light fittings. “Lighting was very important to us, so we invested a lot of time and energy into planning it out,” they maintain.
Asked what they most wanted to achieve out of the space, the pair state that it was important for them to create a mix of uses. “We love entertaining and having people over, so we wanted to create this open space where we could do that – the fact that the kitchen, dining, living and garden lead onto each other really lends itself well to parties and gatherings. At the same time, we wanted it to be comfortable and practical for us to live in day to day.”
And, in what is perhaps the most impressive part of the story, the entire process took five months to achieve – something that certainly had a lot to do with one of the owners being an engineer, who managed the project from start to finish. Once the heavy lifting was over, it was time to focus on décor. “We were aiming for an industrial aesthetic, so we started off with that style in mind,” they say, pointing out elements like the Lampe Gras light fittings and solid wood table, “but we didn’t stick to any specific design style per se.”
Indeed, by incorporating a blend of contemporary elements and rustic pieces – which one of the owners enjoys restoring herself – the couple has achieved an eclectic style that’s unique to them and their personalities.
And now that they’ve been living in their beautiful home for a year, I ask, what is their favourite part of the house? For her, it’s the kitchen and dining area, leading out into the living room. “I love sitting across from the fireplace and looking out into the garden outside with a cup of tea – that’s priceless. I also enjoy pottering around in the garden. It’s a very meditative space,” she says.
For him, it’s the ensuite bathroom. “I really like the design and what we managed to achieve with it. In our previous property, the ensuite was something that I really hated, which is why we made this one triple the size!” he laughs.